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By GreatSchools Staff
One kindergarten parent thinks homework provides a good opportunity to work with her child: "I am a firm believer that education starts at home and that we as parents can't fault the school system when our children are not successful. When I see that my daughter has homework, it is my first priority to work with her and assist her in making sure that it is complete. But I will be the first one to admit that when there is no homework, I'm not certain of what to work on besides the basics (name, letters, shapes, colors). When there is homework I enjoy working with her and watching her learn. Homework every night would be a great benefit...after all, it is school regardless of the age of the child. If they have homework every day, they will expect that this is what will be expected of them all the way through high school."
The mom of a kindergartner and a fourth-grader in California believes there is too much homework: "I am appalled at how much needless repetition there is in the masses of homework that is sent home for both of my children every day. When the kids see the quantity of work that is ahead of them, it seems to overwhelm them before they even get started, which only creates unnecessary stress. The kids should be asked to 'master' 5 or 10 math problems, or spelling words rather than doing 25 or more. [Doing so many problems is] very redundant and takes away from their very important creative free time. I don't understand why the schools need more time from our kids when they have them most of the day already. Thirty hours a week at school plus homework can reach 40 hours easily! The idea of my babies working a 'full time job' is not right!"
Teachers can't control classes:
The grandparent of a fourth-grader writes, "I would like to express my concern over the apparent lack of teacher control in the schools. I was at my granddaughter's school to pick her up, and I waited outside her classroom for at least twenty minutes before the class was to be dismissed. I was rather shocked by all the noise and commotion going on in the room. Then I heard the teacher yelling at the kids to be quiet. …I looked through the window in the door and was amazed to see the kids still being loud and uncontrolled. What happened to the teachers taking control of the classroom? I don't believe kids are being taught that they need to have respect for their teachers and for authority in general."
School's not safe:
"My son has experienced multiple violent behavior attacks which include being strangled on the playground, mostly by other second-graders but an attack by one older kid too," writes the Missouri mom of two children. "When this happens his grades drop immediately, he is scared, sad, does not want to be at this school, cannot pay attention and stay focused on what his teacher is saying, etc. The state of Missouri does not require bullying plans and this is a very sad situation for the kids because it affects all of the students. Our school district has a "don't tell" policy and it discourages tattling. We have had a Columbine-type threat at the high school, and we have had two students involved in an attack using a pocketknife which sent them both to the hospital. Something needs to be done."
Uniforms keep kids focused on studies:
A father of five children writes, "I strongly recommend school uniforms for all kids. It would eliminate a lot of problems, and kids would concentrate more on studying than how they look. Most schools that I've heard of that have the uniform policy don't have many gang or hate problems."
Uniforms don't solve problems:
A mom from New Jersey argues against uniforms: "So what's so bad about [uniforms]? One, uniforms can be purchased by anyone and many adults are wearing them. There are serious safety concerns about the possibility of potential predators being able to more easily lure children. Two, uniforms make it more difficult to identify a child that has been abducted or in the event of a disaster with casualties. Three, uniforms aren't cost-effective because a second set of street or play clothing is required. Four, uniforms do make all kids alike despite social status. Is this really good? Shouldn't more affluent children be taught kindness and charity. Is it bad for a less fortunate person to see what they can achieve with hard work? How can we teach kindness, charity, and aspiration if these things aren't seen or felt? Five, parents try to teach children to be strong in their individuality to combat negative peer pressure and gangs. Does the mandated uniform conformity of children support this?"
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